Suppose in this bad economy you were trying to keep your highly visible job as president of a nationwide organization and this is what the public and press knew about you:
• The Supreme Court has just ruled that your principal product and service to be unconstitutional as you portrayed it. But you were allowed to force the public to buy it and pay for it thanks to a legal argument that acknowledges your acts of misrepresentation and false advertising.
• Unemployment among the users of your products, services and policies is at the highest level in modern history of any president in your position who was lucky enough to win a second term. And that joblessness is particularly high for members of minority groups and young people.
• By the end of next year, the debt you accumulated since you took office is projected to exceed the amount of 43 of your predecessors.
• Your organization’s credit rating has been downgraded an historic two times (by Standard & Poor’s and Egan Jones). These agencies are concerned that your debt load is “unsustainable” and that your economic policies are not stable, predictable or effective.
• In several instances, you have ignored the directions of your board of directors (and the public) and you are being sued or investigated for flouting the law and/or ethical standards.
• You refuse to publicly release documents relating to an operation in your administration that helped get guns to Mexican drug lords and resulted in the deaths of a U.S. law enforcement officer and some 300 Mexican citizens.
• You once said that if your policies failed to achieve a turnaround you should be fired.
However, you are now saying that even though you failed to hit your promised performance benchmarks, you should be re-elected.
You have publicly stated that, “I’m not suggesting that I have a crystal ball.” But at the same time you said that you know “for certain” that things would have been worse if you hadn’t done what you did.
• Your investments in uneconomic and inadequate technologies and energy sources have cost shareholders hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet you block the use and development of proven, cheaper technologies and energy sources.
• Recent books and reporting reveal that for years you either fabricated or tolerated misinformation about your background and experience—transgressions that have caused several other senior executives and officeholders to be dismissed.
• You openly bribed officials to approve your policies and showered your cronies and favored constituencies with your shareholders’ money while cheating others out of investments they made within the law.
• You have increased the power and funding of unions even when that hurts shareholders and retards growth in employment, business development, debt retirement and sound financial management.
• You condemn the wealthy and businesses as greedy and unfair while you pressure them to donate to your campaign to keep your job.
Is this president using double talk and asking for a double standard? And does this president deserve re-election or replacement?
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.